Jesus’ story of the prodigal son is one of the most famous ever told. The father in the story is merciful to his wayward son because he loves him. God is our Father and forgives us because he loves us. The parable teaches us to have no fear in returning to God, no matter what we have done in the past. Our Father loves us so much that he sent Christ into this world to forgive sinners.
God has created us free. Nothing must come between us and God. Yet we are often distracted by worldly things and possessions. Jesus teaches us that we will need commitment and dedication if we are to
follow him. In this we will discover the true freedom for which God made us.
God’s blessing comes to those who behave humbly. Jesus teaches us not to seek status and honours from other people. It is in being humble like him that we will find favour with God. Christ will lead us to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God, if we will only follow him in humility.
Jesus teaches us never to think of ourselves as better than others, just because we profess our faith in him. Many people of other faiths and nations will find their way into God’s kingdom before us. We are called to set ourselves high standards and to try our best to enter the kingdom by the narrow door.
The path to heaven is likened to a race in which we are to keep our eyes on Jesus our leader. The saints are praying for us to reach the finishing line. With so many cheering us on, how can we fail? We are called never to give up, even when the going is hard. We are bound to suffer for our faith, just as Jeremiah the prophet did, but the Lord will deliver us.
Jesus teaches us to be ready when the Lord comes to call us to our heavenly home. A good life is the best preparation we can make. We will enter into a kingdom promised to us by our
heavenly Father, who through his own kindness and generosity has chosen us as his own.
We can become obsessive about looking for material security in this life. Yet we cannot take our riches with us when we die. We are called to live as
people who have died to the things of this world, in order to focus on the spiritual riches of a life given to Christ. In this way we will get our priorities right, and our lives will be full of true happiness.
Jesus teaches us to call God “Father” when we pray. Through baptism we are made one with Christ; we too are children of God. We are taught to persist in our prayers, assured that God will answer us because he is our Father. Jesus tells us to ask until we receive and to seek until we find.
God is as near to us as our own heart. If we wish to become like Christ then we will serve all people without distinction of race, colour or creed. We will become reconcilers and love God with all our heart. In this way we will become the Good Samaritans of a wonderful world.
The Gospel message is one of peace. Wherever we go, we are to bring the peace of Christ with us but we can only do this when we have learned to suffer like him. Then we will lead an entirely new life and peace will flow like a river from us to everyone around us.